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Re: Type of hooks for midges

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:13 pm
by rmercado
Mick, I'm going to try the larger hook with smaller pattern first.

Re: Type of hooks for midges

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:24 pm
by mickmcco
Each year, I tie flies for the Texas Casting for Recovery workshops, and each year I include a set of size 30 flies. The ladies love getting them and can't believe anyone could catch a fish on a fly that small. Of course, the tiny flies sometimes give Karen Gebhardt fits as she tries to sort them into the participants' fly boxes, but that's also part of the fun.

Re: Type of hooks for midges

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:58 am
by LabRat
Hey Mick...do you have any photos of those micro flies with something in the pic for size reference? The smallest I have ever tied is a 22...I can't even imagine a 30... :shock:

Re: Type of hooks for midges

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:32 am
by mickmcco
I don't think I have one, but I guess I could take one. I have flies in my midge box down to a size 32, which came in handy on the San Juan.

Somewhere, I also have a pic of a 26" San Juan rainbow with my size 26 midge pupa in his mouth. Landing him was a miracle.

Re: Type of hooks for midges

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:28 am
by rmercado
mickmcco wrote:Somewhere, I also have a pic of a 26" San Juan rainbow with my size 26 midge pupa in his mouth. Landing him was a miracle.

OMG, I have to see that one!

Re: Type of hooks for midges

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:41 am
by BigCliff
wiscoy wrote:Just to chime in here with another approach. I usually tie my midges on an oversized hook. For example smallest midge hook I use is #18 wide gap, I just measure size of midge to be tied - #22, #24, etc. - then wrap thread on hook ending where it would be on the smaller hook. This serves two purposes - first, do not have to buy tiny hooks or use 6X tippet material and secondly, much easier when tying midge patterns, to tie onto leader material and has holding/hooking power provided with larger hook. Have had really good success following this aprroach and usually maintain a 75% hooked to landed ratio when midge fishing with very few breakoffs.

Wiscoy
I like this approach as well. I've had great luck tying a size 16-18 partridge and peacock on this hook in size 14. Its a Tiemco 106tc-
Image
Plenty stout too. My go-to rig is a copper john on point and one of these as a dropper. The real midges come out if that doesn't produce.

Re: Type of hooks for midges

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:41 am
by mickmcco
Partridge and peacock is a great soft hackle fly and works well with all the caddis in the Guad. I sometimes tie a bead-thorax version of that fly (with the soft hackle in front of the bead). It's a fly that Alan Bray taught me years ago that has served me well on the Guad.

Re: Type of hooks for midges

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:52 pm
by d ayer
Mickfly,

Is that peacock hurl?

Re: Type of hooks for midges

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:45 pm
by BigCliff
mickmcco wrote:Partridge and peacock is a great soft hackle fly and works well with all the caddis in the Guad. I sometimes tie a bead-thorax version of that fly (with the soft hackle in front of the bead). It's a fly that Alan Bray taught me years ago that has served me well on the Guad.
Mick, I've had great success with it on the LMF as well, especially on spillway creek. (though who knows now that its been aqua-reamed due to maintenance)

And it is indeed peacock herl. Its basically a Red Ass without the red tag. A wire rib through the peacock will make them more durable, but I usually skip it for expedience sake.

Re: Type of hooks for midges

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:34 pm
by daleconnally
Can't wait to see pics from Mick. On the original question, I use Dai-Riki 135 hooks for my midges and annelids. Seem strong, sharp, and at $8/100 I don't grieve all the ones I stick in Guad rocks! :P

Re: Type of hooks for midges

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:25 pm
by mickmcco
Partridge and Peacock

TMC 3761 or equivalent 2x heavy, 1 x long nymph hook, size 14-16
Black 6/0 thread
Peacock herl
Gold bead
Partridge shoulder feather

The challenge is to protect the peacock herl so it doesn't get torn up by the trouts' teeth. You can:
1. Undercoat it with thread, then coat the thread with Zap a Gap before wrapping the herl,
or
2. Form a dubbing loop and spin several herls with the tying thread before wrapping,
or
3. Tie in some fine gold wire and counterwrap the wire over the herl once it is in place.

Once the herl has been wrapped onto the abdomen, whip finish and cut the thread, then snug the bead down against the herl. Then retie the thread in front of the bead, tie in the partridge, make a couple of wraps, and whip finish. If you don't have partridge, grizzly hackle will do. The key is to keep it sparse.

Re: Type of hooks for midges

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:05 pm
by BigCliff
Tip #1 is definitely handy, though I prefer to combine it with the lazy version of Tip #2:

Spin the peacock herl strands around the thread from the bobbin and use a rotary vise to wind it onto the hook. The thread reinforces it a bit without having to fuss with a dubbing loop.

It also helps to tie in the peacock herl 1/3 of its length away from the tip, where its a bit stronger.

Re: Type of hooks for midges

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:14 pm
by mickmcco
Yeah, I do it that way, too. It usually works just fine.

Peacock herl, especially if it is old, can become very brittle. It requires careful handling. If possible, keep it bagged in plastic until you are ready to use it.

That said, it's probably my favorite tying material. It has incredible iridescence that fish can't resist.

Re: Type of hooks for midges

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:57 pm
by daleconnally
I've also had good success with peacock colored dubbing. Wears like iron. Don't know if the fish can tell the difference or not.

Re: Type of hooks for midges

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:52 am
by BigCliff
mickmcco wrote:Peacock herl, especially if it is old, can become very brittle. It requires careful handling. If possible, keep it bagged in plastic until you are ready to use it.
Durn tootin'

While I was tying with some last night, within ear shot of my wife, I said "this stuff sure does get weak as it ages. It would probably help if I hadn't bought most of my feathers in college. (I just turned 30) But you don't want me to replace all of my feathers."

Wife- "NO. DON'T."

And she doesn't even know how much Whiting hackle costs...